At the beginning it worked, but with lagging. In the second quarter it died, I missed out most of that part. Then in the half time it came back to life, sped up and for the rest of the game it was like as if I had the most brutal glass fibre cables with the broadest band internet connection. Absolutely no lagging, it was all smooth.
It was the same with Partizan. Things worked in the first quarter, but for the second - as reports say - Zadar took control in their hands and it looked very sad and bitter for Partizan. Then who knows what Aleksandar Džikić told them in the half time, or maybe they all chewed enriched uranium rods, because five roaring lions appeared on the court for the second half and they tore Croatians into small pieces.
At first we switched the standing from 0:3 to 4:3, meanwhile Cvetković collected two personal fouls within one and a half minutes.
Referees heavily disliked Cvetković tonight. Not just him, but Partizan overall.
Zadar took back the lead (4:6), Murić equalized from free throw (6:6), and what came then...
Dear passengers, please, fasten your seatbelts, Murić Airlines’s flight to Belgrade departs right now.
We jumped to 16:6 (!!!) with the baskets of Cvetković, Jones and Murić. After a while we were leading to 20:9, but Zadar reduced it to 23:15.
At this point the stream was already lagging heavily.
Murić set back the 10-point difference (25:15), but Zadar could gain 3 more points from field goal and free throw. We finished the first quarter with 25:18.
Nobody suspected anything even in the beginning of the second quarter. We were leading to 30:22, then Croatians started to throw baskets, one after the other and reduced the difference to 33:30.
At this point the stream died and I found no other working one. Nerve-racking minutes passed with pitch-black screen.
Upon match reports Zadar scored a lot of 3-pointers. First they equalized, then they took back the lead. When once the stream worked for a short while, the standing was 41:43, right after Cvetković’s basket. There was barely one minute left from the first half, Murić presented a very brave blocking, but Zadar still scored just before the end buzz, making the first half’s result to 41:45.
In the half-time something interesting happened. At Partizan’s matches children are allowed in the half-time pause to run and play on the court, but this time it was all silent and empty. As it turned out, a mysterious, bald man wearing all black was walking around the court, forbidding children to enter.
But a little girl managed to sneak on the court behind the black security guard’s back.
People greeted the little one with applause and ovation, while she was happly waving to the crowd.
Then came the second half. At first it was only struggle. Zadar made it to 41:49 and referees were against us, too. Zadar’s players fought hard in every possible and impossible way to keep us away from their paint, and the referees, well, they either whistled it off or not, according to their momentary mood.
Then something happened. Maybe the enriched uranium started to work, who knows. First Marinković scored from free throw (43:49), then Murić (45:49), also Jones (47:49). The Croatian coach asked for time-out, but when we returned to the court, Cvetković stole the ball, ran up and equalized with a fantastic goal. (49:49)
He even took back the lead for us from free throw (51:49). Zadar equalized (51:51), but Murić came, saw and scored a great 3-pointer (54:51). Cvetković followed his example (57:51).
They quickly gave a technical foul to Đumić (was it really Đumić, I’m not sure if I saw it well), while Cvetković got his 4th personal foul. But even that couldn’t stop us. We jumped to 60:52 (meanwhile someone from Partizan got another technical foul...). At 62:53 referees gave a gift free throw to Zadar (62:56), Đumić scored, finally we ended the third part of the game with 64:58.
The last quarter started with Milutinović’s amazing basket (66:58). He jumped after a rebounding ball and scored while falling.
We kept Zadar under harder and harder pressure and reached the 10-point difference (70:60) with Vrabac’s basket.
Zadar’s coach asked for time-out, but even that didn’t help. Williams scored twice (74:62), Zadar fought with tooth and nail - and with legs. (Once there was an actual football match inside Partizan’s paint, referees didn’t whistle.) They could reduce it to 74:66. Williams set back the 10-point difference (76:66), Wilson scored a 3-pointer (79:66), so did Cvetković (82:66). Zadar threw a 3-pointer, too, just like Murić (85:69). And even that didn’t matter that Cvetković was fouled out 77 seconds before the end, and Zadar got a gift free throw (85:71). Murić added two points from free throw (87:71), Zadar desperately fought and finally managed to earn 5 more points, but the imposing difference was still there (87:76).
Time to celebrate, time to shake hands with fans.
KK Partizan: Cvetković (15), Aranitović, Jones (17), Murić (20), V. Marinković (4), Vitkovac, Đumić (8), Magdevski, Milutinović (8), Williams (6), Vrabac (4), Wilson (5)
Zadar: Bašić (5), Cosey (19), Kraljević (6), Šango, Delaš (8), Špaleta, M. Ramljak (9), Bošnjak (7), I. Marinković (7), Barać (15), I. Ramljak
League table will be brought later.
Update: current standing of the League
1. Budućnost 44 points
2. CZ 40 points
3. Cedevita 40 points
4. Mega Leks 39 points
5. Cibona 33 points
6. Partizan 33 points
7. Zadar 33 points
8. MZT Skopje 32 points
9. Union Olimpija 32 points
10. Igokea 32 points
11. Krka 32 points
12. Metalac 32 points
13. Sutjeska 31 points
14. Tajfun Šentjur 30 points